77ºF

JSO: 5 minors were in car at center of high-speed chase before police-involved shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There were five minors in a car at the center of a high-speed chase that led to a police-involved shooting, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office said the chase started about 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of University Boulevard and Powers Avenue. An arrest report shows an officer noted a car had stopped at a red light in the crosswalk, and when the light changed to green, the car -- which had a total of seven occupants, including a child and four teenagers -- accelerated, headed down Powers Avenue and abruptly changed lanes, which caused traffic to slow down.

When the car hit 80 mph, according to the arrest report, the officer turned on his blue lights. The report shows the vehicle continued traveling on Powers Avenue at speeds over 100 mph, turned onto Old Kings Road and then turned onto Toledo Road, where the driver pulled into the entrance of a gated apartment complex before driving across the curb and back onto the road.

Police said the driver eventually got back on Powers Avenue and then onto Baymeadows Road, going 90 mph, before turning onto San Jose Road, where speeds exceeded 110 mph.

Police said they deployed stop sticks to force the car to come to a halt on San Jose Boulevard, south of Interstate 295. According to the arrest report, the car was still going 100 mph when it hit the stop sticks. Police said when the tires detached from the rims, the car stopped and the driver, who was later identified as 21-year-old Darrell Paige, ran out of the vehicle at Ricky Drive -- just south of Mandarin Road. According to the Sheriff’s Office, an officer chased the man around a convenience store at Addie Lane and fired one shot, hitting the man in the leg.

Paige was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

He was arrested on charges of fleeing law enforcement, reckless driving and driving on an invalid license.

Surveillance video captured part of the foot chase. But at this time, it’s not clear what led the officer to fire at the suspect. The arrest report does not even say Paige was shot, only that he was apprehended after a foot pursuit. News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who is a retired JSO officer, said omitting that detail raises red flags.

“Why lethal force was used? Did the suspect pose a threat to the officer? Did he make an overt gesture and the officer thought his life was in danger?” Jefferson said. “People should be able to prove a reasonable explanation as to why he was shot.”

According to the arrest report, there were six other people --ages 24, 16, 15, 15, 14 and 12 -- inside the vehicle. Police said they were interviewed and released to their parents.

News4Jax on Wednesday went to the address listed in the report as the 12-year-old’s home. The adult who came to the door apparently did not want to speak and closed the door. According to a neighbor, that home has several children inside.

According to records, Paige was placed on probation after pleading guilty last month to carrying a concealed weapon.

He is being held on $60,000 bond. If he posts it, he will be placed in the custody of the Department of Corrections, per his probation violation.

The shooting is being investigated by both JSO and the State Attorney’s Office.


About the Author: